For fans of Three Times Lucky and The Penderwicks, this endearing new classic spins together sparkling humor, sizzle-pop writing, and a sassy main character with an unforgettable voice.
Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.
From debut author Kate Beasley, and with illustrations by Caldecott Honor artist Jillian Tamaki, comes a classic tale of hope and homecoming that will empty your heart, then fill it back up again--one laugh at a time.
Like the title character in Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale, the indefatigable Gertie Foy is determined to prove to an absent parent that leaving was a big mistake. Gertie, whose school bus passes her estranged mother's house every day, sees a For Sale sign and learns her mother intends to remarry and move. She devises a five-phase plan to become the best fifth grader ever and get her mother's attention before she departs, but Gertie's ambitions run smack into full-of-herself new student Mary Sue Spivey. First, Mary Sue steals Gertie's seat next to Jean, her best friend. Then, she steals Jean. Perhaps worst of all, Mary Sue's mother, an environmental activist, begins a campaign against offshore drilling. (Gertie's father works on an oil rig, and she lives with her Aunt Rae, who winningly sends her off each day by saying, "Give 'em hell, baby"). Given Gertie's world of hurt, debut novelist Beasley wisely interjects humor as often as possible, and Tamaki's winning illustrations add verve, perfectly capturing Gertie's indomitable spirit. Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Emily van Beek, Folio Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House.